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The Lovers

3.19 of 5 stars 3.19  ·  rating details  ·  1,234 ratings  ·  292 reviews
From the acclaimed author of the 2007 New York Times Notable Book Let the Northern Lights Erase Your Name comes a stunning novel about the love between husbands and wives, mothers and children.

Twenty-eight years ago, Peter and Yvonne honeymooned in the beautiful coastal village of Datça, Turkey. Now Yvonne is a widow, her twin children grown. Hoping to immerse herself in m
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Paperback, 240 pages
Published June 28th 2011 by Ecco (first published 2010)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,539)
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B the BookAddict

As none of my GR friends have read this novel, I have no idea how it ended up on my tbr list. I also have no idea what the point of the story was; there didn't seem to be any plot or direction. It was an ordinary, very ordinary read. 2
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Kinga
Vendela Vida, also known as the wife of Dave Eggers, has written a book about Yvonne, the widow, who goes to Turkey to grieve and remember her late husband. Her destination is Datca, the place where decades before she spent her honeymoon. As Turkey is the ‘land where archaeologists came and were startled to find entire town as they once were’, she expects to find things exactly as she left them all those years ago, so she can re-enact the happy times of the early days of her marriage. Something, ...more
Jill
The Lovers, at first glance, seems to be an unfortunate title for this story: a middle-aged widow, Yvonne, journeys back to a seaside village in Turkey where she and her husband had happily honeymooned decades before. She is there to spend some time alone before meeting up with her twin adult children – her troubled and addicted daughter Aurelia and her “perfect” son Matthew – for a cruise.

An aura of menace with wisps of sexual tension pervades most of the novel. The vacation home is spotless an
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christa
I made a rookie error and poor, poor Vendela Vida's novel "The Lovers" is the innocent victim.

It all started when I feel madly in love with Jennifer Egan's book "A Visit from the Goon Squad." I lovingly caressed the cover, made kissy faces at it, considered starting from scratch and rereading it immediately. I tried to think of a better book in all the world over, and failed. I sighed a lot. The music of REO Speedwagon finally made sense to me.

What I should have done: Chased it with something co
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Malena Watrous
I like Vendela Vida's writing a lot. It's pared down to the essentials, with a great forward momentum--even when the characters are privately mulling over the past, as Yvonne is in this book. I like how she captures the surrealism of ordinary details--white freckles on a man's arms, a hotel room in a cave, a woman who only arranges her face so that she looks beautiful when she knows she's being looked at. I agree with those who say that she writes in the vein of Paul Bowles--these travel novels ...more
El
Yvonne's life has taken unexpected turns over the years. Her husband has died in a horrific hit-and-run car accident; their children, twins Matt and Aurelia, are grown now, but Aurelia's teenage years and on were riddled with drug and alcohol abuse, filled with lies and deceptions and stints in rehab. Yvonne returns to Datca in Turkey where she and her husband had spent their honeymoon in hopes of returning to memories that don't involve death and dishonesty while at the same time desiring to fi ...more
Diane

As a huge fan of this author's last book: Let the Northern Lights Erase Your Name, I was very excited to read Vida's latest novel, The Lovers.

Like in her last novel, this story is about a woman on an emotional journey, traveling far from home to find herself and meaning in her life. Yvonne is a 53 year old woman, mother of adult twins: Matthew and Auerelia. She lost her husband Peter, two years earlier and is still numb from the loss. She is tired of having everyone still asking how she is doing
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Bonnie Brody
Vendela Vida's relatively short novel, The Lovers, packs a big wallop. It is a multi-layered story about Yvonne, a widow, who returns to Turkey where she and her husband once honeymooned. She believes that by returning to the same place where they had been together early in her marriage, she will feel closer to him. Her husband Peter was recently killed in a hit and run car accident in their hometown of Burlington, Vermont. Yvonne has rented a large home, sight unseen, for a couple of weeks unti ...more
Maree
She writes with such truth that I can't help but nod along with the analogies and moments the book points out, about people and how they think and what we say and do, and how words can just be so inadequate. That's what I love about this book.

While this book takes place in the beautifully described Turkey, it's not about the setting at all, but entirely about Yvonne, the main character who has lost her husband in the previous months and is still dealing with the aftereffects. There is no shallow
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Jennie
I really wanted to like this book, since I loved my time in Turkey. However, I found the events unrealistic and couldn't get past this. The ending was preposterous!
Amy
I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher.


In the aftermath of her husband's death, grieving widow Yvonne travels to Turkey where she and her husband had honeymooned 28 years before. Her plan is to spend some time alone reflecting on her marriage and the loss of her husband and then meeting up with her adult twins for a cruise. Her plans become complicated when she quickly becomes entangled in the lives of several people. She uncovers secrets about the man she is renting a house
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Cathy Smith
A real page turner --but not in a good way.

First let me say that there was a lot that I liked about this book, especially at the beginning. I liked the premise: widowed Yvonne, a school teacher, goes to Turkey, which is where she and her husband had gone on their honeymoon, 20-something years earlier. I also was very fond of Yvonne; I found her interesting, sympathetic, with compelling personal problems to work on during this trip. And I really liked Vida's prose, which balances descriptive tra
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Jennifer
Jul 23, 2011 Jennifer rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of New Yorker stories
Shelves: fiction
This book is so well written. I really enjoyed reading it. I was carried along by the story, wondering what would happen to this woman on her solo journey to a remote corner of Turkey. However, as it went along I wondered more and more where the story was going, what was the point? I finished the book and I still couldn't answer those questions.
As I said, the writing is so memorable and enjoyable, but the story was implausible at times and at those portions I lost interest in the main character.
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Stephanie D.
It's been over a month now since I've read this book and I am still thinking about the ending - in fact, about much of the book. It's not very long; I read it in one or two sittings straight on through.

Because I am enthralled with Turkey and love reading books set there (a reflection of my longing to revisit), I was immediately drawn to The Lovers by Vendela Vida. The premise of a woman going on vacation to a village by the sea and the title suggest that this story might romanticise travel (and
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Johanneke
Op de weegschaal, deze. Het ene schaaltje heet 'goed' (niet excellent, helaas) en het andere schaaltje heet 'gekunsteld'. Het komt nooit in balans met een voordeel voor het een of het ander.

Goed: - De opening van het verhaal. - De achtergrond van een huwelijk dat een tweeling voortbracht, waarbij de vrouw (Yvonne) haar hart verpandt aan de dochter en de man aan de zoon en ze elkaar nooit kunnen overtuigen van hun keus. - Het lastige aan het alleen op vakantie zijn in een land (Turkije) waar heri
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Amy
The Lovers, Vendela Vida
The Lovers is a novel set in Turkey, where a newly widowed woman returns to the place of her honeymoon, almost three decades before. She's trying to escape her life in Vermont, and her new status as the pitied single woman among couples. As the mother of grown twins, she is conflicted with her memories of her marriage and her relationship with her children. She's discovering that as more time passes since her husband's death, the more she is forced to re-evaluate their r
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Jennifer
Vendela Vida returns to the theme of her last novel: a women, broken by some recent tragedy in her family, travels to a foreign country where she is truly alone in her grief. Vida's last book was a real heartbreaker, and this one is no less gut-wrenching. But her characters are so complex that even as their worlds spiral downwards, there's something you can hold onto and identify with within so much sadness.

The main character in the Lovers returns to the scene of her honeymoon years later, afte
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Rebekah ODell
Vida’s novel opens with Yvonne, a middle-aged widow, lost and looking for her driver in a Turkish airport. Vacationing alone in an attempt to recapture the magic of her honeymoon in Turkey twenty-six years before, lost is how Yvonne spends most of the novel, metaphorically speaking.

While her husband was killed in a car accident years before, this is Yvonne’s first trip without him. Even though the reader hears stories about Yvonne’s life at home in Vermont, it feels to the reader as though thi
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Elyse
Interesting small book ---
Its really closer to a 3 star book ---(yet, I'm giving it 4 stars). I liked the 'intimacy' I felt while reading it. (I was swept right into this this story).

I could see a few things in the plot which are questionable ---however --I enjoyed the flow of writing --and who cares if I maybe the story could have taken a different direction. Truth was---I was pretty damn 'PRESENT' while reading every word of 'Vida's book!

This is my first book I've read by Vendela Vida (wife
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Gretchen Rings
I had high hopes for this book, which started off well, but eventually went off the rails. Yvonne is a widow who decides to take a return trip to Turkey--site of her honeymoon--to help ease the pain of the recent loss of her husband. She rents a large vacation home while there, a home belonging to a wealthy man who is married but keeps the home for his French mistress. What seems to be building as a story of intrigue (and maybe an act of passion to come) veers off into another story all together ...more
Meagan
I finished this book in just a couple of hours, and I find myself wanting those hours back. This book is a good idea in theory: a recently-widdowed mother of two revisits Turkey where she and her husband honeymooned twenty-six or so years before. While there, she wanders around looking at stuff, obsessing about her alcoholic daughter (whom she completely misunderstands, as it turns out), and feeling sorry for herself. She befriends a young boy, and her connection with him results in further trag ...more
Martin Rowe
I thoroughly enjoyed this self-contained and quietly moving novel of a widow slightly unhinged by grief, who discovers through a tragedy the limits of her ability to control her world and reconnects with her wayward daughter. Vida's precise and undemonstrative prose admirably captures a sense of place (a moth-eaten beach resort in the south-western corner of Turkey), and gently plays on the trope of the self-absorbed Westerner abroad. Unlike "Everything Beautiful Came After" by Simon van Booy, w ...more
Vonia
The second title from Vendela Vida that I have read; the second winner. Like Let The Northern Lights Erase Your Name, the writing is simple yet illuminating, picturesque prose especially exemplified as her settings seem to be lesser popularized travel destinations.

Here she has her heroine, Yvonne, in Turkey, including Datca, Istanbul, Konya, Kronos; the most mesmerizing being those near the water as she spends time with Ahmet.

It is a story of self-discovery. A story about marriage, love, mothe
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T. Greenwood
I don't have a lot to say about this book. Regrettably, this character and her plight simply did not resonate with me. The premise seemed promising: a widow travels to Turkey after her husband's death to recapture the joy she experienced there on their honeymoon. (Vida did do a wonderful job in her depiction of this exotic setting.) Yvonne, the widow, also plans to join her son and troubled daughter for a cruise. In the meantime, she befriends a young Turkish boy and a number of other local char ...more
Tammy
Oct 19, 2010 Tammy rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
I won this book on goodreads and this is a new author for me. I gave it 3 stars; it was a good read, but I don't think I would ever re-read it. It's a book that stays on your mind for a while; it makes you think about life. The title is a little mis-leading but there are all sorts of "lovers"; husband/wife, mother/children, friend/friend, teacher/student, etc.

The Lovers is about a middle-age woman that has lost her husband to an auto accident, and she is trying to deal with his death and it's af
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Beth
The title of this book rather frightened me. I thought maybe this could end up being a raunchy book about two lovers. Not so at all and I was so thankful for that!

The story revolves around Yvonne who has recently lost her husband and is trying to come to terms with her grief. She goes to Turkey where they honeymooned only to find that Turkey has changed and so has Yvonne. Yvonne has no problems making new friends in Turkey and befriends a young boy who does not speak English and the estranged w
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Caley


Vida's skill lies in her careful and thorough treatment of exterior spaces/landscapes and the extension of these sites as tools to elucidate the emotions of her characters. In The Lovers, Turkey seems to be an emotionally mature character all on its own; Vida describes a country saddled with the heavy vestiges of its cultural and religious past struggling with its progression towards some unspoken ideal of modernity. Yvonne, the novel's understated and grieving widow, seems to be essentially un
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Erin
I guess I had a lot of expectations for this novel. I read Vendela Vida's Let the Northern Lights Erase Your Name a few months back and was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked her writing. But upon finishing The Lovers today, I actually went back and re-listened to Vida's interview with Michael Silverblatt on Bookworm because I felt I must have missed something. But what I have determined is that it's not me that has missed something, it is the novel that is missing something.

In the interv
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Yla Delarosa
I love the idea behind this book about how Yvonne decides on going back to the place where she and her late husband honeymooned in order to remember how it was that time. I think that's very brave. Some people would choose to forget, but she chose to remember the feelings and hold on to the memories they bring.

I also love the truth that Vida showed about the people that her protagonist met in that foreign land - the culture, the art, the practices - both the positive and the negative... its all
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Julie
Ms. Vida presents us with another spare and reflective novel about a woman searching to redefine herself after the death of a loved one. Instead of the cold glow of the Arctic Circle that defined Let The Northern Lights Erase Your Name, Ms. Vida bathes the protagonist of The Lovers, Yvonne, in the cerulean blue of the Turkish Riviera.

Ms. Vida writes so deftly and with such elegance. You are given just the right depth of detail to create your own vision of setting and character and the just enou
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Vendela Vida (born September 6, 1971) is an American novelist, journalist, and editor who lives in Sausalito with her husband, writer and publisher Dave Eggers. She graduated from San Francisco University High School in her hometown before attending Middlebury College as an undergraduate. She received an MFA in creative writing from Columbia University. She has written three books, Girls on the Ve ...more
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Let the Northern Lights Erase Your Name And Now You Can Go The Believer Book of Writers Talking to Writers Girls on the Verge: Debutante Dips, Drive-bys, and Other Initiations Confidence, or the Appearance of Confidence: The Best of the Believer Music Interviews

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